Cornerstone Research
4.0 of 5 69 reviews
www.cornerstone.com Menlo Park, CA 150 to 499 Employees

Cornerstone Research Reviews

Updated Feb 7, 2014

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4.0 69 reviews

                             

95% Approve of the CEO

Cornerstone Research President and CEO Cindy Zollinger

Cindy Zollinger

(57 ratings)

86% of employees recommend this company to a friend
69 Employee Reviews
Relevance Date Rating
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "good pay, not a lot of travel, better than average work-life balance"
    in 6 reviews
  • "You get to work with some very smart people on some high profile cases"
    in 8 reviews
Cons:
  • "If you are trying to transition to a different job, the exit options may not be as good as some management consulting firms"
    in 6 reviews
  • "Can be difficult to maintain a steady work-life balance"
    in 6 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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Cornerstone Research is a great place for growth and career development for administrative professionals.

Various (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time for more than 5 years

ProsCornerstone has great core values that are celebrated at the firm in a way that creates a solidarity between everyone, whether or not they work on the same coast or in the same office. Because of this, they often like to look internally to fill positions or promote from within when they can. Once you get your foot in the door, it really is an amazing place for administrative professionals to advance or explore new career paths.

ConsIt may be difficult to make changes to certain practices and procedures for some, but it is definitely possible and in some cases may involve various reviews through committees and other office heads. Polices are not made lightly and deserve the attention to detail they are given at Cornerstone, but have always given great thought and consideration to all employees, regardless of level.

Advice to Senior ManagementPlease continue to maintain that level of comradery and sense of family that was the driving force behind my own growth and development at Cornerstone.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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decent lifestyle for a consulting job

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Cornerstone Research

Prosgood pay, not a lot of travel, better than average work-life balance

Consvolatile hours, clients may have unrealistic expectations

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great company, great people, great deal for clients

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time for more than 8 years

ProsPeople here are generally pretty nice, smart, and try to do the right thing.

ConsCan be long hours, and pressure at times.

Advice to Senior ManagementHire more people?

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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4 people found this helpful  

Long hours and limited opportunities

Analyst (Current Employee)
Washington, DC

I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time for more than a year

ProsYou get to work with some very smart people on some high profile cases. There are many opportunities to develop your quantitative analysis and communication skills. Because analysts are constantly coming and going, you have the opportunity to assume lots of responsibility early in your career.

If you plan on earning an MBA, Cornerstone can help you get into top schools.

ConsThe hours are by far the worst part of the job. We tell prospective hires they will work an average of 50 hours per week, but it will probably be much more than that. If your average is that low it will be a mix of weeks where you sit in the office doing nothing and plenty of 80 hour weeks. There will be unexpected late nights and weekend work,. There will also be weekends you will bill no hours but are unable to do anything else because you are on call. The compensation will seem much less impressive if you calculate your hourly rate.

The work will include boring tasks such as data entry, compiling bibliographies, or checking footnotes.

Most of the managers are very smart PhD economists, but they often lack managerial and organizational skills.

Exit opportunities other than going to graduate school are very limited, and it is rare to make the jump from analyst to associate.

Advice to Senior ManagementBalance casework with available staff or be more upfront about the hours required.

Invest more in management training.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend

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4 people found this helpful  

Great place to start a career!

Research Associate (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time for more than 3 years

Pros- Analysts build strong and diverse quantitative and analytical skills. Formal training, informal mentoring, and on-the-job experience provide the kind of transferable technical expertise that is required to solve problems in today's data-driven world.
- Firm does a huge range of interesting, intellectually stimulating work. Academic bent means that you really think through problems and invent novel approaches. If you're not sure where your industry passion lies, this is a great place to explore.
- Loose hierarchy and varying team structures mean that leadership opportunities and case management responsibilities are available if you prove yourself capable.
- Thoughtful senior management is constantly thinking about the long-term success of the firm and its people, and is open to feedback.
- Friendly, collaborative, intellectually curious culture in which you can ask anyone for help on anything - I have built deep and lasting friendships.
- Great support for analysts departing for graduate school, including admissions advisors paid by the firm and even training for managers on how to write strong recommendations.

As a current MBA student, I have been amazed at how many of the in-demand capabilities for recruiting you will pick up at Cornerstone without even noticing: working with diverse management styles, coping with ambiguity, solving loosely defined problems, analyzing large quantities of data, managing multiple work streams, providing upward and downward feedback and incorporating such feedback in your own work, presenting to different audiences, simplifying complex ideas, generating creative solutions...the list goes on and on. Add to that the quantitative chops and you are in great shape.

Overall, Cornerstone is a great place to get your start.

Cons- As at any firm in the industry, hours are volatile. Over my tenure, my average work week was not much higher than the 50/week analyst expectation, but it was certainly significantly higher for short stretches.
- The firm's personnel model does not encourage retaining high performing junior staff long-term. For most, economic consulting is not a long-term career plan and so this is not much of a problem. As noted above, Cornerstone is a great springboard to anything else you might want to do.

Advice to Senior ManagementBe active custodians of the Cornerstone culture - as the firm grows, it is even more important to foster cross-office connections.

Build a stronger path to senior management for high performing junior staff - I have seen so many of my colleagues go off to do great things; the firm would benefit in the long-run if some of those great things were back at Cornerstone.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Not too bad but nothing really exciting.

Anonymous Employee (Current Employee)

I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time

ProsPeople here are generally nice. Good development in skills in different areas. Good exposure to different economics/financial problems.

ConsSometimes long hours . Some upper management people not so nice. Not compensated quite appropriately.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great job out of undergrad

Senior Analyst (Former Employee)
Washington, DC

I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time for more than 3 years

ProsThe best aspects are the people and the culture. Analysts tend to develop close friendships and get together outside of work. People know each others' families. The firm has policies in place to encourage such professional and personal interactions, but they also happen organically because of the type of people the firm hires. People are friendly, helpful, and interested in getting to know you.

The work is interesting, challenging, and high-profile. You will learn a lot, both job-specific training and skills that are more transferable. Exit options for analysts are great, as the firm helps with the graduate school application process and consistently places analysts at the top business, law, and other graduate schools. Future employers value the experience and training analysts receive.

Compensation and benefits are generous.

ConsThe hours can be unpredictable, but this is a function of the industry and not specific to Cornerstone. Some managers are better than others in trying to accommodate personal plans when assignments do come up at the last minute.

The compensation structure for analysts is a black box that sometimes seems dependent on managers' willingness to go to bat for an analyst during the compensation meeting.

Advice to Senior ManagementGreater focus on midlevel manager training and development. This has a huge effect on analysts' quality of life and motivation to work hard.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great job, but with clear tradeoffs.

Senior Manager (Current Employee)
Two Dot, MT

I have been working at Cornerstone Research full-time for more than 5 years

ProsInteresting, intellectually stimulating work involving high-profile litigation. Bright, hIghly talented peer group.

ConsService business - client says jump, you say "how high". Lack of control in schedule.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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4 people found this helpful  

Sold my soul... under market rates

Research Associate (Former Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time for more than 3 years

ProsYour Excel skills will be amazing, and you will develop these and analytical abilities very quickly. The reason you'll develop so quickly is because you will work double the hours of your friends working 9 to 5-7, believe me when I say no matter how hardcore you think you are for acing college exams, this isn't worth it (assuming you're not in mgmt. consulting or I-Banking getting mad money for doing it).

The only reason I'd recommend this job to someone is if they're from a no-name school and they are able to get an offer. It will boost your resume for a decent MBA program, but if you have any other opportunities it's not worth it.

Cons1. I was told I would work 50 hours average a week, this was a lie, I rarely worked less than 70.
2. There is a "Overtime Bonus" to compensate people for all their extra hours worked, it's a joke, the people that worked the most that I knew got about the equivalent of one paycheck.

With these tiny "Overtime Bonusses" it is very much in management's favor to have analysts work overtime instead of hiring new analysts... my prediction is that this is unsustainable because talented people recognize that they should get paid for their work

Advice to Senior ManagementStop selling the job as something it's not, also, stop searching out the employees who leave bad reviews on Glassdoor and making them take them down, yes, CR does do that.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Senior Analyst

Senior Analyst (Former Employee)
Menlo Park, CA

I worked at Cornerstone Research full-time for more than 3 years

ProsReally good culture, typically 45-50 hours per week, though some weeks can be more than 80

ConsLots of variability in schedule, work can be rather boring (lots of footnote checking)

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Cornerstone Research – Why Work for Us?

Cornerstone Research is one of the leading economic and financial consulting firms. We specialize in the analysis of complex financial, economic, accounting, and marketing issues that arise in litigation. Our work with… Full Overview

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